How times have changed
When I was a 12-year-old sixth-grader at Valley Heights Elementary School in New Kensington, my uncle, George Rotter, called and asked me to stop over at my grandmother's house for lunch the next day. He had just been honorably discharged as a first lieutenant from the U.S. Army after serving in Italy in World War II.
When I arrived at my grandmother's, he showed me a .25-caliber Beretta pistol. It was unloaded and he had removed the firing pin.
He gave it to me as a war souvenir and I was very excited. The pistol fit into my pocket and I went back to school.
I went to the principal, Welty McLaughlin, and explained the circumstances. He checked my pistol to make sure it was empty, put it in his desk and told me to come back after school, which I did.
He gave me the pistol and told me to hold it in front of me on the way home because he didn't want me to get in trouble for having a concealed weapon.
When I got home, my dad checked the pistol and put it away for me. Mr. McLaughlin was a very strict, but fair, principal and he knew all of his students. He felt that it was safe for me to take this pistol home.
I think this was a much better way to handle this than the way schools do now. As a friend said to me, “Common sense is no longer common.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.